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12 Irregular Plural Words You Won’t Believe Are Grammatically Correct

September 14, 2016

When I saw these, I had a hard time believing they were right. In all my years as a nurse I never used the word bicepses! I always thought the plural and singular were the same. English is most certainly a crazy language. ~ Connie

On Readers Digest By BRANDON SPECKTOR

The plural of beef is… beeves! This is true only for “beef” in the sense of “cow”; If you’re talking about arguments between whiny celebrities on twitter, then those are beefs.
The plural of opus is… opera! (So, an opera is more than one opus? Mind-blown.)
The plural of sphinx is… sphinges! (Though “sphinxes” is an acceptable secondary option.)
The plural of biceps is… bicepses! That’s right: “biceps” is a singular word, literally translated from the Latin for “two-headed” (each of your biceps connects to the upper arm via two heads, one short and one long.) Here’s how to get stronger bicepses without lifting weights!
The plural of cul-de-sac is… culs-de-sac. In French, cul-de-sac literally translates to “bottom of a sack.” So, weirdly, the plural culs-de-sac becomes “Bottoms of a sack.” (That sack’s got back!)
The plural, gender neutral form of nieces and nephews is… niblings! Yes, it was only coined in 1951—all the more reason to make sure it doesn’t disappear!
The plural of attorney general is… attorneys general! Similarly, see also: postmasters general, mothers-in-law, and coups d’etat.
The plural of octopus is… octopuses! No—NOT octopi. Here’s the deal: “Octopi” is how you would make the word plural in Latin; unfortunately, “octopus” is not a Latin word—it’s Greek. The Greek way to make octopus plural is “Octopodes.” So, why don’t we say that? Because, linguists say, when you add a word to the English lexicon, you give all forms of the word an English inflection. So, octopus becomes octopuses. Silly as it sounds, stick with that.
The plural of lasagna is… lasagne! It refers to the large, flat pasta as well as the dish itself; technically, you should be ordering the lasagne from your favorite Italian bistro.
The plural of Prius is… Prii! Toyota officially announced this new word after a 2011 vote of more than 1.8 million people. Prii trounced runners-up (another weird plural) including Priuses, Prium, and Prien.
Let’s flip the script: plural words you thought were singular. For example, bet you didn’t know “plankton” is a plural word. The singular from of plankton is… plankter!
And the singular form of spaghetti is… spaghetto! Similarly (awesomely), the singular form of confetti is confetto, and the singular of graffiti is graffito. Language… it’s greato!

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